We want to say, “Good riddance!” to 2020, toss it in the dumpster and set it ablaze. We would like to turn our backs and walk into the new year of 2021. If we do that, we will lose all the treasures hidden in darkness, all the lessons learned from challenge, all the wisdom gained in hardship, all the promises fulfilled in ways we didn’t expect. At the beginning of 2020, God was telling us that it would be a Good and Blessed New Year, and it really has been! All His words and prophecies were true. In fact, it has been our best year yet.
I hesitated to write this article, because I didn’t want to make any of my readers feel bad if they didn’t have a year as wonderful as mine. But it is simply a matter of perspective. I think that God would like all of us to concentrate on His blessings rather than the trials. If I made a list of all my heartaches, fears, doubts, and hard times in 2020, you would most certainly pity me and be glad you didn’t have my life. Yet in every life, the blessings and the trials dwell side by side. And the trials actually turn into blessings if we let God have His way.
I used to live in a state of perpetual self-pity. I spent a lot of time feeling sick and tired and grumpy, and every new hardship was confirmation that I was a victim. I didn’t realize that I had taken on an orphan identity that was in opposition to God and the Bible. It just felt like normal life, and normal life was incredibly hard!
It took years for God to renew my mind, peel back the layers, and reveal my victim perspective. A victim mindset produces victim thoughts and victim thoughts produce victim decisions. Victim decisions would lead me away from God’s goodness and into deeper darkness. I didn’t need a change of circumstance, I needed a change in perspective. I was an eagle living in the dirt, but God has taught me how to fly.
I do sometimes forget to fly. So I proclaim over myself, “I pursued my enemies, and I did not turn back until they were destroyed (Ps 18:37)! Fear, you have no hold on me! Victim spirit, orphan spirit, you have no place in me! I am wonderfully well and blessed and highly favored of the Lord. I am his favorite daughter! He has put a crown on my head…” and on and on until I have confessed every good scripture that I can think of.
If you are beholding the LORD, then you will go from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18). Each year will be better than the last because you are drawing nearer to Him and He is drawing nearer to you!
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp really helped me change my thought patterns and grow the joy center of my brain. I started keeping a journal of all that I was thankful for, writing a few things each day. At first it took some thought, but pretty soon the blessings would come to my mind faster than I could write or keep track of. I got to one thousand and beyond with no trouble. Now I am in the habit of falling asleep thanking God and waking up thanking God. Some days I must force myself to do it just to push out the discouraging thoughts, but most days it flows naturally.
I decided to write down all the amazing things God had done for us in 2020. Then Chris reminded me of additional blessings that I had forgotten about. We talked about it as a family, and the children remembered even more. It really was the best year yet!
You don’t even have to read my list. The main point is for you to compile your own. It may take days or weeks, talking to family and friends, and reviewing journals and photos, but it is worth the effort. It may just take you from the valley to the clouds and beyond.
Why 2020 has been My Best Year Yet
- I have been singing truth over myself every morning. I have been filled with more confidence and boldness and spent less time in discouragement and lies.
- I have been waiting on the Lord almost every morning and there is nothing better than hearing His voice.
- I have renewed strength and energy – not as tired or overwhelmed.
- I have taken a walk almost every morning and I have never been so immersed in the beauty of my own neighborhood in every season.
- I found renewed joy in homeschooling. The children got better nutrition and better spiritual discipleship since their schools closed.
- Two of my adult children have been home for most of the year. They helped me without being asked and I loved their company.
- We spent a week in the best vacation rental we have ever had.
- Chris and I fulfilled our 24 year desire to return to Cape May.
- We were able to save money in many different ways.
- My daughter Ashlyn had a better-than-expected experience during and after spinal fusion surgery.
- No sickness in our home except colds.
- My boys have wanted to go to church.
- I was able to start making kefir and taking supplements again.
- After living many years with a leaky roof, we were able to get a new roof with no debt.
- I hiked Hawk Rock with the family. I hadn’t done it in 27 years. It was definitely challenging but it felt easier than when I was in my teens!
- We finally got a membership to the State museum and used it many times. My dad used to work at the museum, and it was there that I spent many happy childhood days.
- On our porch we had yellow mums for autumn and festive lights for Christmas for the first time.
- We grew closer to a wonderful group of friends and have never felt more thankful to be able to spend time with them.
- I have never been more excited to attend church! I have watched many church leaders rise up in a new boldness. I have witnessed the Ekklesia work together like never before.
- I have lived through an amazing year that history will look back on as the beginning of the Second Revolutionary/Civil War, a precursor to the Third Great Awakening when America turned back to God!